The floods last summer should have been warning enough. But according to a new study, the municipalities in Germany are still doing too little against heavy rain.

According to a new study, Germany’s cities and communities are poorly prepared for the flash floods that are becoming more frequent after severe thunderstorms.

“In principle, local heavy rain can occur anywhere and therefore flooding can also occur away from bodies of water,” said study author and drainage specialist Theo Schmitt on Monday in Munich. Local storms could also cause billions in damage every year, said the scientist – and referred to the forecasts that severe thunderstorms will occur more frequently as a result of climate change.

Schmitt is a former professor of civil engineering at the University of Kaiserslautern and a specialist in drainage. The commissioner of the study was the “Responsibility Water and Environment Initiative”, which is largely financed by the Federal Association of Building Materials Specialists. In the study, Schmitt identifies several weaknesses in the municipalities: the scientist includes a lack of warning systems as well as a lack of “heavy rain risk maps” that citizens could use to find out about potential dangers in their residential area.

“The municipalities can do a lot more, they finally have to move,” said Wolfgang Günthert, former professor of urban water management at the Bundeswehr University in Neubiberg near Munich.